October 25, 2002
UCLA Geneticists Find Location of Major Gene in ADHD

The region they've narrowed the search to is also linked to autism. However, since they haven't yet narrowed the search to a single gene it is not yet proven that the same gene is involved in both disorders. However, what is important here is that the search for a major genetic contributor to ADHD is getting close to a culprit:

UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute researchers have localized a region on chromosome 16 that is likely to contain a risk gene for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, the most prevalent childhood-onset psychiatric disorder.

Their research, published in the October edition of the American Journal of Human Genetics, suggests that the suspected risk gene may contribute as much as 30 percent of the underlying genetic cause of ADHD and may also be involved in a separate childhood onset disorder, autism.

Pinpointing a gene with a major role in ADHD will help researchers and clinicians better understand the biology of this disorder and likely lead to the development of improved diagnosis, treatment and early intervention.

"We know there are about 35,000 genes in the human genome. By highlighting this region on chromosome 16, we have narrowed our search for a risk gene underlying ADHD to some 100 to 150 genes," said Susan Smalley, principal investigator of the study and co-director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Genetics at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute.

Once it becomes possible to control whether progeny get the genes that contribute to mental disorders it will become possible to totally eliminate a large variety of mental disorders from some future generation. This will result in an intergenerational difference in attitudes as the average younger person will be brighter and happier than any previous generation.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2002 October 25 03:00 PM  Brain Genetics

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